SPRINGFIELD -- Changes to the state's murder registry inspired by the release of the convicted killer of a Batavia girl 12 years after her death passed the state Senate Wednesday.
"Andrea's Law" -- named after Andrea Will, who was murdered while studying at Eastern Illinois University in 1998 -- would combine a new registry for convicted first-degree murderers with an existing Illinois child murderer's registry.
Sen. John Millner, a Carol Stream Republican and former Elmhurst police, said a streamlined registry would help things to operate more smoothly, saving police money and most importantly, easing the minds of victims and their families. The change also would effectively make convicted killers register for life.
Will was killed by Justin Boulay, who then a St. Charles resident, in 1998 while both were students at Eastern.
Boulay was released from prison late last year and he moved to Hawaii soon after.
"The victims' parents felt that some notification would be important," Millner said.
The legislation follows the state House's earlier approval of legislation that would require convicted first-degree murderers to appear on a registry for 10 years after they get out of prison, akin to the sex offender registry.
"We don't know what kind of citizen they're going to be," Millner said of killers who get out of prison.
Because the plan was revised since House lawmakers first approved it in April, it will move back to the House for final approval.